Notes on "Transformation Begins When the Renovation is Done"

Transformation Begins When the Renovation is Done: Reconfiguring Staff and Services to Meet 21st Century Research Needs
Marta Brunner, Head of Collections, Research, and Instructional Services, UCLA Library, Los Angeles, CA
Zoe Borovsky, Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship, UCLA Library, Los Angeles, CA
Allison Benedetti, Librarian for Advanced Research and Engagement, UCLA Library, Los Angeles, CA
Ms. Jennifer Osorio, Team Leader, Humanities and Social Sciences, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

  • Transformed their outdated library to a learning commons with both collaborative & quiet areas
  • The “pods” issue:
    • This collaborative area contained clusters of “pods” designed to promote group work. There were 20 pods total; each had the ability to seat 8-12 people.
    • These pods were overwhelmingly popular, but many students that used them were working solo. Even though this was designed to be a collaborative area, students were using it as a quiet space and shushing one another
  • How they fixed the pods issue:
    • They improved the signage. Instead of using the word “Collaboration” for the area, they made its purpose more straightforward by changing it to “Meet & Talk.”
    • They started taking reservations for the pods
    • They began observing and recording data on how students were using these spaces (how many students were working solo & how many worked in a group?)
    • They talked with faculty, undergraduate & graduate students. They discovered that grad students didn’t have as much collaborative work as the undergrads, so they didn’t use the pods. Grad students wanted their own space and didn’t want to compete for space with the undergrads
  • The result:
    • A new reservation system for spaces was implemented
    • They began a fundraising campaign to create grad student spaces in unrenovated areas of the library & allowed the grad students themselves to design this space

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